Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am a chicken midwife

I'm practically a nana. Or maybe I'm more of a chicken midwife. I have no idea how chickens have been doing it for all these years, but I have single-handedly hatched some eggs - with the help of two hens and my husband who bought the fertile eggs off Trademe. But it feels like I did all the work. I'm the one who went out there and poked the hens every day and I'm the one who picked them up each day so that I could hold all the eggs in my eager hands. See? How did they ever do it before I was around to help?

 It started when our two frizzles, Pepsi and Cola, got broody and Beloved got soft. Believe it or not, it was actually his idea to find them some fertile eggs (on account of not having a rooster). I learned something very funny about Beloved then. It turns out that he had no idea how the mummy chicken and the daddy chicken reproduce! Seriously, he'd assumed that after the hen laid her egg, the rooster just strutted on over and dropped some magic chicken dust on it to make it turn into a baby chick. I asked him if he'd ever seen the sparrows on the powerlines giving each other...errm..."piggy backs". Apparrantly, that was news to him.

So, while we were getting around to buying some eggs on Trademe, I decided to slip some free range supermarket eggs under the hens; we'd been given earlier in the week. We got some new araucana eggs the next day so I replaced all but two of the old eggs and put them back in the fridge for omelettes. Long story (about 21 days long) short, those two eggs I left under Pepsi and Cola were the first to hatch - that was a surprise! I couldn't face cooking up their unhatched siblings so I threw them in the compost. The next day, under very close scrutiny by yours truly, three more babies hatched. I was beside myself with joy and excitement. One of my lovely friends even gave me a card congratulating me on my new "grandchickees".
Peekaboo! (or should that be "Peck-aboo?)

I'd heard about God being like a mother hen sheltering her chicks under her wing and had always assumed that she just kinda stretched it out like an umbrella. But I've been watching this modern family closely ("modern" because there are two mums and no dad) and have noticed that those chickees climb right up inside all that plumage. I even thought I'd lost them a few times until I picked up Pepsi, the more maternal of the two birds, and all these babies just fell out of her feathers with a disgruntled peep. I just hope that they're not all little itty bitty roosters because we're not allowed to keep roosters in suburbia and we'd have to find an alternative home for them if they are - and we all know what that means! About 180 degrees celsius in a roasting dish should do it...*ulp!*

This one hatched out of one of the eating eggs. I shall name it "Omelette"
(come to think of it, "Omelette and his/her sibling have extra toes so I might call them Tennessee and Marilyn)
Aunty Poppy
 My dog, Poppy, has taken quite an interest too. I'm not sure if it's the good kind or not but Pepsi's having none of it. She makes quite a fuss and will lunge at Poppy, placing herself at risk to protect her babies.

So that's what it means to shelter under God's wings. It's not just sitting around waiting for a supernatural brollie to pop up over our heads, it's about nestling in close - hiding ourselves in Him. I like it!

Where can I get a pattern for this chicken jersey?
Now, about those eagle wings that we're supposed to soar on. I really think I'll have to look into that a little more because I'm very scared of heights. I wonder if it's legal to have pet eagles in suburban South Auckland...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunsets and "Stuff"

I was doing some busy, grown up "stuff" this evening when my six year old started calling out for me. She sounded pretty excited but I had to do my stuff. Thankfully she didn't give up on me "Come and look at the sunset Mum!" I looked at the stuff that I was doing and had a mini-epiphany right there in the lounge. Years from now, is my little girl going to remember that I got stuff done, or will she remember that I sat and watched a sunset with her? To tell the truth, I was a bit reluctant to give up my valuable time but figured that it wouldn't be too much skin off my nose if I left my stuff alone for five minutes or so.

I have to admit, it was a pretty impressive sunset. My little one was full of Ooohs! and Ahhhhs! and "isn't God clever?!"  I had to agree. There was gold, and orange, and pink, and purple, and blue...and even though we felt we were watching the whole time, we couldn't actually detect the colours moving, yet it was all constantly changing.
"How does God do that?"
I wasn't sure how to explain, "With his Godly Godliness" she seemed satisfied with that.
"He must be a really good artist!"
I nodded.
"You should thank God for the sunset."
So I did.
"And you should thank Jesus for helping Him."
I did.
There was a moment's silence, then an awed whisper: "It's a miracle!"

And that was it. I'm so glad I left my stuff to look at the sunset with my little girl. When I grow up I want to be just like her...

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."